Port of New Orleans

Port of New Orleans

Executive director and chief executive

www.portno.com

We can all remember what now seems like the good old days, the time when financial success depended simply on how much cargo moved through your port. That premise remains, but it is far more complicated than it was 10 to 15 years ago.

The contributing factors are well-known: ocean carrier consolidation, an un-certain economy, labor issues, tariffs, ad-verse weather and security issues. Funding sources that once seemed to be reliable, including voter and legislative approved tax measures, change as quickly as the mood of the electorate.

This new climate in which we operate has made diversification a top priority. Port authorities are re-evaluating their revenue sources and routinely reviewing mission statements. While diversification is a necessity of the times, it can also be viewed as an opportunity. At the Port of New Orleans diversification has come in the form of a growing cruise business. In the past decade cruise passenger volume has grown from 80,000 in 1993 to nearly 700,000 in 2003. This growth has meant more revenue for the port authority, but more importantly it has created a significant new component of the regional economy.

Diverse activities are creating new revenue opportunities for port authorities. Cruise facilities, added to an array of ever increasing non-traditional development (including shopping complexes, museums, parking lots and even ballparks) provide new revenue sources and stimulate the economy. It also attracts the community to the waterfront.

The community's appreciation of port authority activities at these facilities can help foster an overall awareness of port activity. This awareness can only help in the quest for funding before the Legislature and voters.